THE Covid-19 pandemic has claimed 100,842 lives in India, the second most populous country in the world.
INDIA’s death toll from the novel coronavirus rose past 100,000 on Saturday(3),
India became only the third country in the world to reach that bleak milestone of more than 100,000 death due to the virus on Saturday(3), after the US and Brazil.
According to the health ministry said the tally of infections climbed to 6.47 million after a daily increase in cases of 79,476. India now has the highest rate of daily increase in infections in the world.
However the country is pushing ahead with a full opening of the country.
Cinemas were allowed to re-open at half capacity this week and authorities can decide to re-open schools from the middle of this month.
Heading into winter and the holiday season, including the Hindu festival of Diwali next month, India could see a jump in cases, health experts said.
“We have seen some recent slowdown of the virus curve but this may be a local peak, there may be another coming,” said Bhramar Mukherjee, a professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Michigan.
She said data showed a little over 7 per cent of the population of 1.3 billion had been exposed to the virus, meaning India was still far from any sort of herd immunity.
The number of cases could rise to 12.2 million by the end of the year but the rate of spread would depend on how effective measures such as social distancing were, she said.
The US, Brazil and India together account for nearly 45 per cent of all Covid-19 deaths globally.
Death rates in India, however, have been significantly lower than in those other two countries, raising questions about the accuracy of its data.
India has, on average, less than one death from the disease for every 10,000 people while the US and Brazil have seen six deaths per 10,000.
US president Donald Trump, defending his administration’s handling of the pandemic in this week’s presidential debate, said countries such as India were under-reporting deaths.
Representatives of the health ministry and the Indian Council of Medical Research did not immediately respond to calls or emails for comment.
Health experts said there could be greater immunity in India because of the high incidence of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. Nearly 1,200 people in India die of TB every day, roughly the same as deaths from Covid-19.
Kamakshi Bhate, professor emeritus of community medicine at the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, said she didn’t expect India’s death toll to surge dramatically even as the virus spreads into dense population clusters and across the countryside.